The Vatican has released a prayer and logo for the Extraordinary Year of Mercy called by Pope Francis.
During a press conference held Tuesday in the Vatican press office, Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, shared with journalists these developments for the Jubilee Year of Mercy, set to start Dec. 8 and end Nov. 20, 2016.
The prayer, whose full text appears below, speaks about God’s merciful love for his people, from the start of His Church, and how we are to live as loving Christians today.
The logo by Father Marko I Rupnik represents a summa theologiae of the theme of mercy, Archbishop Fisichella said, and is accompanied by the motto, ‘Merciful Like the Father,’ taken from the Gospel of Luke.
This motto, the archbishop said, “serves as an invitation to follow the merciful example of the Father who asks us not to judge or condemn but to forgive and to give love and forgiveness without measure.”
Taking a look at it up close, the Italian archbishop said there is an image “quite important” to the early Church, namely “that of the Son having taken upon his shoulders the lost soul, demonstrating that it is the love of Christ that brings to completion the mystery of his incarnation culminating in redemption.”
Archbishop Fisichella said the logo was designed in such a way “so as to express the profound way in which the Good Shepherd touches the flesh of humanity and does so with a love that has the power to change one’s life.”
One of its specific features, he said, is worthy of note. “While the Good Shepherd, in his great mercy, takes humanity upon himself, his eyes are merged with those of man. Christ sees with the eyes of Adam, and Adam with the eyes of Christ. Every person discovers in Christ, the new Adam, his or her own humanity and the future that lies ahead.”
He pointed out there are three concentric ovals, with colors progressively lighter as one moves outward, which “suggest the movement of Christ who carries humanity out of the darkness of sin and death.”
“Conversely, the depth of the darker color suggests the impenetrability of the love of the Father who forgives all.”
Archbishop Fisichella also explained the logo has been registered in the international forum in order to safeguard its rights and to prevent any inappropriate use.
For more information on the Jubilee year developments, and to see the logo, visit the website: http://www.iubilaeummisericordiae.va/content/gdm/en.html.
The text of Pope Francis’ prayer for the Jubilee Year of Mercy:
Lord Jesus Christ,
you have taught us to be merciful like the heavenly Father,
and have told us that whoever sees you sees Him.
Show us your face and we will be saved.
Your loving gaze freed Zacchaeus and Matthew from being enslaved by money;
the adulteress and Magdalene from seeking happiness only in created things;
made Peter weep after his betrayal,
and assured Paradise to the repentant thief.
Let us hear, as if addressed to each one of us, the words that you spoke to the Samaritan woman:
“If you knew the gift of God!”
You are the visible face of the invisible Father,
of the God who manifests his power above all by forgiveness and mercy:
let the Church be your visible face in the world, its Lord risen and glorified.
You willed that your ministers would also be clothed in weakness
in order that they may feel compassion for those in ignorance and error:
let everyone who approaches them feel sought after, loved, and forgiven by God.
Send your Spirit and consecrate every one of us with its anointing,
so that the Jubilee of Mercy may be a year of grace from the Lord,
and your Church, with renewed enthusiasm, may bring good news to the poor,
proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed,
and restore sight to the blind.
We ask this through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Mercy,
you who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever.